Author Topic: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume  (Read 8474 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« on: September 13, 2014, 02:23:17 PM »
I'm looking for the easiest and most accurate way of gauging the amount of liquid inside my brew pot both pre-mash and post-boil.

I didn't have enough shekels to buy a pot with a sight glass.  I have a 10-gal S/S kettle and I'll be doing mostly 3-gal batches and 5-gal batches BIAB.

I'm considering two options but would welcome other ideas.

The first is buy a S/S yardstick, measure the height from the bottom for different levels (gallons) of liquid, and type up a chart e.g. 10 inches depth = X gallons.

I think it might be hard to accurately read the markings on it if the wort was boiling at the time of measurement and putting off steam.  Would there some easy way to permanently mark the pre-measured levels on a S/S ruler?  I don't know of any paint that might stick to the S/S and still resist boiling wort without flaking or dissolving.

The other idea would be to buy a wooden square dowel either 1/2 inch or 1 inch per side and about 6 inches longer than my kettle and calibrate that.  The issue then would become sanitizing the stick and would it hold up to repeated dunkings in hot wort?

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2014, 02:39:39 PM »
Either way is fine. Since you are working on the hot side of the brewing process, sanitation is not a concern. So the wood dowel is fine. I use a long handled, nylon spoon with marks whittled into the plastic. One concern with the SST dip stick is that is will get hot. But that shouldn't be a big deal.

If you brew on an un-level surface, placing the dip stick in the center of the kettle will always produce an accurate volume measurement. However, if you had a sight glass on the side of the kettle, then you had better make sure the kettle is level or your volume measurement will be off.

Only bad thing about dip sticks is that the steam and heat off the wort does make you work VERY quickly!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2014, 02:44:18 PM »
+1 on the wooden stick, I calibrated a large dowel with a sharpie and it works fine
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 02:49:49 PM »
The  sharpie markings won't come off?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2014, 02:58:35 PM »
The  sharpie markings won't come off?

+2 to the dowel with sharpie markings. A little will come off but you won't lose your markings. Done it for years. Cheap and easy.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2014, 03:31:13 PM »
Mark it from the rim of the kettle to the level of the wort, and whatever you use doesn't even have to get wet.
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Offline troybinso

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2014, 05:56:24 PM »
Mark it from the rim of the kettle to the level of the wort, and whatever you use doesn't even have to get wet.

+1 Tape measure from the top of the kettle.

Offline narcout

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2014, 06:11:58 PM »
The first is buy a S/S yardstick, measure the height from the bottom for different levels (gallons) of liquid, and type up a chart e.g. 10 inches depth = X gallons.

I bought a stainless steel ruler on Amazon, then I took measurements filling my kettle up one quart at a time.  In Excel you can plot the points on a graph and generate the equation that most closely approximates a straight line.  Then you can build the function into a spreadsheet where the input is the measured height of liquid and the output is the volume.

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Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2014, 01:02:33 AM »
Wooden dowel for over 15 years.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2014, 01:45:05 AM »
Wooden dowel with notches cut every gallon. Cheap and Easy!
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2014, 01:53:26 AM »
Wooden dowel that was laying around, not clutter anymore, it is a brewing tool.
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2014, 03:34:27 AM »
Thanks guys, I'll go with the wooden dowel and measure from the top down.
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Offline dcb

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2014, 02:38:20 PM »
I measured the diameter of my kettle and calculated depth per gallon in my pot, which worked out to a nice 1.5" per gallon.  I then took a razor saw and cut shallow notches on the shaft of my mash paddle every 1.5".  After a couple of batches, the wort even stained the score marks just enough to make them more easily readable.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2014, 02:52:30 PM »
1/2" dowel 3' long. One end is marked for my 15 gallon pot, the other end for my 8 gallon HLT. If you have your IC in the boil from tge beginning, make sure to calibrate your stick with the IC in the pot. Just use gallon jugs of water to calibrate.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Dip stick for measuring kettle volume
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2014, 12:28:17 PM »
I use a wooden yard stick and some of that math stuff to measure my volume.  1.2" = 1 gallon in my setup.
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